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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Brewers Blow Another Game In 5-6 Loss



From Sportsline.com:

Ken Griffey Jr. dramatically ended his slump at the expense of a closer who finds things getting worse every time he gets to the mound.

Griffey's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-5 victory Friday night over the Milwaukee Brewers, who overcame a nearly three-hour rain delay at the outset but couldn't handle another meltdown by their closer.

The Brewers took a 5-3 lead into the ninth, but Derrick Turnbow (4-7) couldn't throw a strike, helping the Reds rally for their sixth victory in their eight games since the All-Star break.

"Wow," Griffey said. "It's been a long day. I'm glad it's over with."

This one ended at 1:15 a.m. EDT, with a few thousand fans in the stands and the Brewers expecting an entirely different outcome.

Instead, Turnbow blew his fifth straight save opportunity by giving up a leadoff single to Brandon Phillips, then loading the bases with one out on a pair of four-pitch walks. At that point, manager Ned Yost had seen enough.

He brought in left-hander Dana Eveland, who has one career save. Eveland walked Javier Valentin to force in a run, and the slumping Griffey -- 0-for-13 since his single last Sunday -- hit one into the gap in left-center that the discouraged outfielders didn't bother to chase.

There was no point.

"All I had to do was get a ball in the air and hit a sacrifice fly to tie it," Griffey said. "I just hit it in the gap."

It was the final straw for Yost, who plans to take Turnbow out of the closer's role for now.

"He's really fighting himself," Yost said. "We'll give him a break."

Turnbow didn't object when told of Yost's plans.

"I feel confident, but I'm not making confident pitches," Turnbow said. "I've got to find it. They haven't talked to me about it. I'll understand. I don't want to cost the team games."

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